What Can You Do?

Bushfires and smoke can occur at very short notice, putting you under pressure to quickly act in a safe and rational way. Being prepared is your best line of defence. Thankfully, there are things you can do to better equip your business, venue or property to manage emergency fire events.

Alerts and Warnings

Being prepared for bushfire includes keeping up-to-date with the latest emergency weather warnings, forecasts, seasonal outlooks, Apps and updates from key industry bodies.

The Vic Emergency App and website combines emergency information and warnings from various agencies. It is managed by Emergency Management Victoria and the app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.

Regional wine industry associations are usually very proactive in their consultations around planned burns and provide:

– Timely updates to their members as promptly as possible. It’s a good idea to join your local association to become part of their database and receive their newsletters and alerts. Find your local association here.
– General information on planned burns in Victoria can be found here. Information on planned burns in your postcode can be found here.
– The Victorian EPA has current air quality measures available here.
– Research is currently being undertaken on linking air quality to risk of smoke taint. As this is released, it will be included in this plan.

Monitoring Smoke Taint

There are many factors that affect the risk of smoke taint.

Smoke exposure can affect grapes at any time during the growth and harvest cycle, and just because you can see, or smell smoke does not necessarily mean the grapes have been affected.

Adhering to industry best practice including getting samples tested is the best way for you to actively monitor smoke taint.

For more information on how to prepare samples for testing, where to send them and available laboratory services, access and download the relevant resources below.

Read more

Getting Help

Mental health and wellbeing

Mental Health is critical and the stress can be extreme. If you are feeling the stress of the financial pressures, you are not alone. After working so hard on great fruit, wine and your business, it is perfectly understandable to feel devastated by the losses associated with bushfires and smoke. It is also perfectly normal to need a little help.

Help can be found at the following organisations: 

  • Lifeline - 13 11 14 - A 24 hour emergency support hotline.
  • Beyond Blue - 1300 22 4636 - Providing mental health support across Australia.
  • Headspace - Specialising in youth mental health.
  • Blackdog - Specialising in prevention and treatment including for anxiety and depression.

In addition to these organisations, there are many excellent counselling services across Victoria, here is a good place to start.

Financial support, advice and coaching

Businesses may be affected by disasters directly or indirectly. For instance, businesses may not be directly caught in a disaster, but the resultant decline in trade will effect the business. CPA Australia provide information to assist businesses affected, available here.